Cheshire Police is asking local people for their views on a proposal to relocate Risley police base to nearby Birchwood fire station and its help desk function to the help desk at Arpley Street in Warrington.
We are asking local people to give us their views and take part in an online survey.
Risley Police Base is located on Delenty Drive, which is a no-through road in a quiet residential area of Birchwood. It provides a base for suspect interviews, meetings and for local PCSOs to book on/off. It also operates a help desk Monday to Friday between 10am and 3pm.
A service and estates review found that this police base no longer suits today’s policing operational needs. The building is too large, it requires considerable investment to upgrade its facilities and has limited visibility and public access. It also revealed that for every 100 people who accessed the Warrington help desk, only two people accessed the Risley help desk and has the lowest level of demand of any help desk across Cheshire.
It is proposed to re-locate the current police base to Birchwood Fire Station, just 0.4 miles from its current location. This will ensure that there is a continued local police presence for the public and improved facility for local PCSOs to work from, conduct meetings and book on/off. It is also proposed to move the current help desk functions to Warrington Police Station, which is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm and Sunday 8am to 6pm providing longer opening hours and more services that are currently available at Risley.
Birchwood Fire Station will provide residents with a modern fit-for-purpose police base, with facilities for confidential discussions with police officers, a public contact phone on the exterior of the building that links directly to the force control centre and clear signage indicating the presence of a police base.
A new approach in 2018 of allocating a named PCSO means to every community of Cheshire means that local residents and businesses of Risley already have an additional community base at Birchwood Library, just over half a mile from the current police base.
The current Risley Police Base is leased by the Police & Crime Commissioner from Warrington Borough Council. This proposal would realise savings of approximately £27,000 per annum, of running costs which would provide further investment in policing.
The results will be reported to the Police & Crime Commissioner, who will make a decision and feedback from this survey will be published on www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk.
Frequently asked questions
The purpose of this survey has been to provide an opportunity for members of the public to express a view on the Constabulary’s proposal that the current Risley Police Base be relocated to a new joint Police and Fire facility at the current Birchwood Fire Station, with the helpdesk services being redirected to Arpley Street in Warrington town centre.
Not only have the residents of Risley and Birchwood been consulted, but feedback has also been sought from the surrounding communities including Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft.
The survey responses received so far have included a variety of views and questions and this document seeks to provide additional information and answers to some of these.
Risley is not in a good location. It is situated on a no-through road in a quiet residential area and therefore has limited prominence in the locality, resulting in very poor footfall compared to other police station help desk sites, even though it is signposted. The Fire Station at Birchwood has much better visibility in the local community.
A six-week review of demand and footfall across all Police helpdesks in Cheshire was carried out in 2017, which revealed that Risley had the lowest level of demand. This tells us that moving the helpdesk facility would not impact on many people.
In addition, very little of the current building is used and so it costs more than it should to run this service.
The proposal to move the current helpdesk function to Arpley Street would provide longer opening hours and more services that are currently available at Risley. Arpley Street opens Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm and Sunday 8am to 6pm compared to Risley which opens Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm.
The police base at Birchwood Fire Station (and the Police Community Base at Birchwood library) will still mean there are facilities available locally for confidential conversations with police officers.
The Constabulary is still very much committed to having a building based service in the local community of Risley and surrounding areas. The proposal is to re-locate the current police base to Birchwood Fire Station, which is less than half a mile from its current location. This will ensure there is a continued local police presence for the public and provide a facility for local PCSOs to book on and off their shifts.
In addition, a new recent approach to the allocation of named PCSOs means that residents of Risley now have an additional community base at Birchwood Library, which is just over half a mile from the current police base.
There will be no impact in terms of response times for the police if the proposals go ahead. The police are not currently deployed from Risley and will therefore not see any change.
All calls (both emergency and non-emergency) into Cheshire Constabulary are currently serviced via the central Force Control Centre at its headquarters in Winsford and will continue to be, therefore there will be no impact if the Risley police base is re-located.
Birchwood Fire Station would provide residents with a modern, fit-for-purpose police base with facilities for confidential discussions with police officers and a public contact phone (a free phone linked directly to the Force Control Centre would be installed to the exterior of the fire station).